Under the terms of its Environment Protection Licence with the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA), ARTC was required to undertake a pilot monitoring program of particulate emissions.
This monitoring was to determine whether loaded coal trains operating on the Hunter Valley network make a significant contribution of particle emission concentrations and whether loaded coal trains are a larger source of particle emissions than trains of other types.
In response to this requirement, ARTC engaged specialist environmental consultants to carry out the pilot monitoring program at two locations: Scholey Street Junction, Mayfield and Raymond Terrace Drive, Metford.
The pilot monitoring began on 13 February and concluded on 20 March 2012. During this period Total Suspended Particles (TSPs), PM10 and PM2.5 concentrations were measured and analysed against the type of train scheduled to pass by the two testing locations.
The type of trains categorised and reviewed against the particulate readings were:
- loaded coal train;
- unloaded coal train;
- freight train; and,
- passenger train.
The pilot monitoring program reviewed the particulate readings against each type of train scheduled to pass by and compared this to particulate readings from two NSW Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) air quality monitoring stations at Wallsend and Beresfield.
Under the terms of its licence ARTC has provided the results of the monitoring in form of a draft report to the NSW Environment Protection Authority and is now finalising the report based on the EPA’s feedback.
On its completion, ARTC will provide the final report to the EPA.
ARTC recognises that there is a high level of community interest in this subject and is committed to completing the final report as soon as possible and for the report to be made publicly available.